Enjoy three spectacular days of hiking near Aspen, Colorado, plus four afternoons/evenings sampling fantastic food and beverages from local producers in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Aspen, Colorado, is blessed with more than 300 days of sunshine, world-class hiking trails for hikers of all abilities, and gorgeous high-mountain peaks. If you’ve seen photos of Colorado’s Rockies, chances are they show the iconic Maroon Bells near Aspen, a mecca for outdoors lovers.
The Aspen Hiking and Tasting Tour is the perfect complement for those attending this year’s FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen (June 20–22, 2014). For visitors arriving in Aspen for the FOOD & WINE Classic, stay a few days after the event and let us share with you some of the best hikes and tastes of Aspen. We also offer a September tour to highlight the beautiful fall foliage.
Upon your arrival in Aspen, you’ll attend a Meet-and-Greet evening welcome party, where you’ll get acquainted with your guides and the region’s outstanding food producers. Each day, you’ll choose from two or three hike options led by professional local guides. Hikes include a sumptuous trail lunch and will finish mid-afternoon in time for you to enjoy a late-afternoon Tasting Tour featuring selected local producers who host us at their facilities (on two afternoons). Our final night will conclude with a backcountry-ranch barbecue dinner.
All events and picnic lunches will feature locally sourced foods, products from Whole Foods Market in nearby Basalt, and Whole Foods Market 365 organic products. You’ll have the opportunity to meet passionate suppliers and food artisans during these events as well.
Arrival Day: Party & Pre-Hike Orientation
Join us for a Meet-and-Greet evening welcome party hosted at a hotel in downtown Aspen. You’ll get acquainted with the pros from Aspen Alpine Guides, who will lead us along trails through the region’s incomparable mountain scenery.
DAY 1: Hiking Adventure & Avalanche Cheese Tasting
Today’s hiking options include day hikes on the upper Hunter Creek Valley, North Fork Lake Trail, and Green Mountain and Independence Pass. The excursions will be scenic and get you into the groove of hiking at altitude. As on all days, we’ll return to Aspen in time for a late-afternoon tasting tour. Today we visit the Avalanche Cheese Creamery.
DAY 2: Hiking Adventure & Woody Creek Vodka Tasting
Your options today include hiking from the incomparable Maroon Lake to Crater Lake, or to Buckskin Pass area, or along the 8.2-mile Lost Man Loop. All three offer unforgettable Rocky Mountain scenery. In the late afternoon, we’ll swap hiking stories over artisanal spirits at the Woody Creek Distillery.
DAY 3: Hiking Adventure & Barbecue Dinner at the T-Lazy-7
Now that we’re all experienced hikers, we really pull out the stops. The Active group will tackle Lost Man Loop, while the Moderate and Challenging hikes will feature an ascent of either Mt. Elbert, Colorado’s highest Fourteener (14,439 feet), or 14,265-foot Castle Peak (a more technical climb on which we might encounter snow). Departure time for the two mountain climbs is 4:30 a.m. so that we can reach the summit before noon thunderstorms.
To celebrate our hiking achievements in the Aspen-area wilderness, we’ll have a barbecue highlighting locally and responsibly raised meats. The venue for our feast will be the authentic, rustic T-Lazy-7 Ranch.
For information about registration for the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen (June 20–22, 2014), please visit the Stay Aspen Snowmass website for details.
Accommodations: Several hotels in Aspen are offering affordable rates and discounts in conjunction with the Whole Journeys Aspen Sampler. Our preferred property for the tour is the Hearthstone House where our Meet-and-Greet welcome event will take place. A block of rooms have been held starting at $149/night plus taxes. Additional lodging starts as low as $139/per room/per night at Aspen Square Hotel Condominiums and up to $239 at the Sky Hotel. Hotel Jerome is offering 10% of their best available rate and the Limelight Hotel is offering 25% off their published rates for all available room categories. Please call for details and codes for the events.